POSTED: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 5:07pm
UPDATED: Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 9:08am
Today is World Press Freedom Day and that principle is being put to the test locally, or so say some students at UT-Tyler.
Student newspapers at the university level aren’t quite like the ones we remember from High School. Since they are grooming young journalists for real careers, they sell advertising, do real reporting, and have more editorial freedom.
Or do they?
The University of Texas at Tyler student newspaper is rightfully proud of it’s journalistic quality.
Editor-in-chief Kamren Thompson says the staff has written some tough stories about the school administration.
And that their faculty advisor, Vanessa Curry has paid the price.
Curry teaches journalism at the school, and says she has been terminated over the paper’s content, which is against school policy. The school says there have been complaints. But they won’t say what they are or from whom.
Curry’s last evaluation rated her performance superior.
We asked for an interview, but received this statement.
“This is about Ms. Curry's performance and conduct inside of the classroom and workplace. It is not about the content of the student newspaper, nor the First Amendment. UT Tyler is strongly committed to the rights of the students who participate in the Patriot Talon. This is about what is best for the program and UT Tyler students.”
There is one additional aspect to this story. Vanessa Curry is facing brain surgery.
This happened once before in 2002, and the school backed down and rescinded an earlier firing attempt.
There is a hearing on Curry’s latest dismissal on May 12th.